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German ICO Savedroid Pulls Exit Scam After Raising $50 Million (techcrunch.com) 200

German company Savedroid has pulled a classic exit scam after raising $50 million in ICO and direct funding. The site is currently displaying a South Park meme with the caption "Aannnd it's gone." The founder, Dr. Yassin Hankir, has posted a tweet thanking investors and saying "Over and out." TechCrunch reports: A reverse image search found Hankir's photo on this page for Founder Institute, and he has pitched his product at multiple events, including this one in German. Savedroid was originally supposed to use AI to manage user investments and promised a crypto-backed credit card, a claim that CCN notes is popular with scam ICOs. It ran for a number of months and was clearly well-managed as the group was able to open an office and appear at multiple events.
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German ICO Savedroid Pulls Exit Scam After Raising $50 Million

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  • Vigilante justice (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sgage ( 109086 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2018 @09:31PM (#56461773)

    I predict that, at some point, vigilante justice is going to kick in. These twats just rip people off and make light of it, well, sooner or later someone's gonna snap.

    • People get scared so no.

      It's a nice wish, though.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      honestly if you are stupid enough to fall for this scam then you probably don't have the mental capacity to find the people involved (even if you had their name and address).
      • Seriously. If I had the money to invest in such a thing, the last thing I'd put my money in is -such a thing as an ICO-.
    • Maybe these morons should just stop falling for scam after scam just because the scammers use blockchain and cryptocurrency in the pitch?

    • I mean let us be honest, most if not all people which were taken have no resource to search for somebody like that world wide. And with 50 million, even washed down to 25 million, a team of 10 person can live a well financed live anywhere in the world without worry. The probability from a mafia guy being taken out of his money, is very low : mafia probably are the one organizing some of those scam to begin with. So i would say vigilant justice won't happen.
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      How many Kickstarter scams have there been now and all of them seem to have gotten away with it. There is never any real come-back.

    • by hey! ( 33014 )

      Rubbing peoples' noses in it was a mistake. The smartest thing would be to stage a crisis and shut down the business. Even if people saw through it, I suspect they'd be less angry if they weren't openly mocked.

      And the thing about scamming people is that if you do it nicely, you can even scam them more than once. It goes like this, "Just to show there's no hard feelings, I'll let you in on this scam I'm running on that other guy over there." Of course, to get in the scam they'll have to put a little ski

      • The sad thing is, I've seen and watch this constantly happen. Meanwhile, legitimate people trying to accomplish good get sued to oblivion because some investor didn't make his ROI, calls them scammers.

  • by fibonacci8 ( 260615 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2018 @09:32PM (#56461779)
    "I lent a friend of mine $10,000 for plastic surgery and now I don't know what he looks like."
  • It was a Shitcoin.

    Now 4 more Doge.

  • It's almost like the entire idea of an "initial coin offering" is a complete scam, designed to cash in on cryptocurrency hype!

    Also, some might be surprised to learn that water is wet.

  • My money! (Score:5, Funny)

    by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2018 @09:37PM (#56461797) Homepage Journal
    Crap. I invested a lot here. He was using deep learning and AI to manage investments. Since AI and deep learning are totally a thing (I read about it in Slashdot) I figured I couldn't lose.
  • Yep (Score:5, Insightful)

    by apoc.famine ( 621563 ) <.apoc.famine. .at. .gmail.com.> on Wednesday April 18, 2018 @09:43PM (#56461827) Journal

    Why does anyone fall for this anymore? There was some survey recently where more than 80% of ICOs were scams.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Yeah, 20% are TOTALLY legit, because cryptocurrencies are TOTALLY legit things. Just like AI and Deep Learning Neural Nets and autonomous driving. This is totally the future!
      • no 20% are just really bad investments, well meaning people running poorly thought out schemes whereas the other 80% are well thought out schemes to fleece you of money from your wallet. at this point you would have to be braindead to be "investing" anything in an ICO.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        This is totally the future!

        Yeah well, as long as it stays there, we have nothing to worry about.

      • Yeah, 20% are TOTALLY legit, because cryptocurrencies are TOTALLY legit things. Just like AI and Deep Learning Neural Nets and autonomous driving. This is totally the future!

        You do realise that there are actual cryptocurrencies being used for actual transactions right?
        Just like Deep Learning is an actual thing which you likely assist in training multiple times a day and underpins pretty much most of the internet services you use. Incidentally one of the biggest companies into this also has over 5 million miles of unassisted autonomous driving under its belt.

        I do agree with one part of your sarcasm though. Whey you say "This is totally the future!" sarcastically, I agree. It's n

      • 20% are cases where the entity offering the ICO is really trying to create a crypto-currency. The other 80% are cases where there is pure intent to defraud. Even if the outcomes end up the same (losing all of the invested money), they are much different situations.
    • by sgage ( 109086 )

      Because of something for nothing magical thinking. Very prevalent in America, and probably most parts of the world. It's what drives the system.

      • Very prevalent in America

        Since this was a German company, America has very little to do with it. ... other than the South Park cartoon the dweeb posted on his "company" website. That's American.

        • by sgage ( 109086 )

          That's why I said "and probably most parts of the world". I live in the USA, and that's what I know. I specifically didn't say it was only an American issue. Clearly it is not, which was my point.

      • Good job shoehorning America in there, even though it's totally unrelated. You Americans always have to change the subject to yourselves, don't you? Every story, every day, every time is always about you. Ever wonder why the world despises you so much?
        • Ever wonder why the world despises you so much?

          You're getting ahead of yourself. The people who despise us have not taken over in Europe yet, though as this story shows they are well on the way to getting their Caliphate.

      • Some of those EVEN after the scam is revealed, responded to a user which told"hell am waiting it is on a legit exchange - and I was right", the answer was "yes but you risk missing a 667% markup" ==== this is the type of "easy money" thinking which taken people taken for their money. Stupid.
    • by Khyber ( 864651 )

      Same reason idiots continue to perpetuate the scam crypto-economy.

      Because they think they're smart enough to avoid being part of that 80% that gets fucked.

      As we see, they are obviously not that smart.

    • Why does anyone fall for this anymore? There was some survey recently where more than 80% of ICOs were scams.

      When you combined the major fraction which are straight-up scams with the majority of the non-scams that nonetheless fail, your chances of ending up with nothing was 92%, and of the remainder the only criterion was that you weren't left with nothing. Your odds of actually making a profit, or breaking even, were roughly the same as getting double boxcars on one throw of a pair of dice.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      more than 80% of ICOs were scams.

      20% of ICOs aren't known to be scams yet.

    • Why does anyone fall for this anymore?

      Are you asking why stupid and/or ignorant people exist? Because we put too many damn warning labels on things that's why!

    • Everything old is new again. It's pretty much the same sort of thing that happened in the early days of modern joint stock companies in UK and the Netherlands. I read about one case in those days, the company ran an ad saying they wanted investors for an enterprise they could not name or describe due to fear of competitors. There was such a rage back then they got people off the street handing them cash.
      • It's pretty much the same sort of thing that happened in the early days of modern joint stock companies in UK and the Netherlands.

        Especially in the Netherlands, but at least they ended up with fields of beautiful flowers.

      • Having a stock offering was also apparently good for having wealthy and highborn women spend the night with you. "Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds" - still useful reading.

  • ... third grade con-man 30 seconds into the presentation. LOL. This whole "I built my own crypto currency" bullshit is totally off the hook - feels like 2000 all over again, doesn't it?

    • ... third grade con-man 30 seconds into the presentation. LOL.

      The reason con-men continue to sound like con-men is because it works to sound like a con-man. That is the sound that people.....trust.

  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2018 @10:07PM (#56461895)
    the CEO of Savedroid for helping lower the price of graphics cards.
  • You can make more money with a flop than with a success.

  • When someone promises you investing into something will make you a millionaire, what they're really trying to say is "Invest in me so I can be a millionaire." That's all there is to it. The fine print reads: "Go fuck yourself".
    • by vux984 ( 928602 )

      That's not a useful discriminator.

      When someone promises you investing into something will make you a millionaire, what they're really trying to say is "Invest in me so I can be a millionaire." That's all there is to it.

      Everyone pitching for money wants to get rich themselves, that's a given. There is nothing wrong that.

      If its a legit opportunity, you both get rich. That's why people invest.

      • That's why it's never a legit opportunity.

        Only a few people get rich. (For "rich" to have any meaning, this has to be true.) They have to have something going for them more than the average person. They may be very lucky, or come from a wealthy family, or very talented, or have an unusually good idea. (Hard work can help, but there's far more hard workers than there are rich people.)

        So, when anyone tells you you're going to be rich, ask yourself what is so unusual about you that you're going to get

        • by vux984 ( 928602 )

          "So, when anyone tells you you're going to be rich, ask yourself what is so unusual about you that you're going to get rich. If it's nothing, then that anyone is lying to you"

          It's never what is unusual about me that matters. Its what is special about *them* that matters.

          Basically, its kind of like 'dragons den'. I'm going to speculate that very few on that show are "lying"; they all really think they have great ideas, and with some investment to realize them they'll be rich, and the investors ... well... ri

          • No, it's about you. Are you a known angel investor or venture capitalist? If so, people come to you with investment ideas as a matter of course. If you aren't, why is this person trying to get money out of you? Again, relatively few people get rich, so why you?

            I misused the word "legit", sorry. What I meant is that offers like that are not going to be good opportunities, unless there's something special about them - and, by extension, you.

  • Well managed? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hawguy ( 1600213 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2018 @11:59PM (#56462199)

    It ran for a number of months and was clearly well-managed as the group was able to open an office and appear at multiple events.

    If this is the kind of due diligence people do before investing(*) in crypto-currency, I see why so many people get scammed. "Well, they have an office, this company is clearly well-managed, must be legit".

    (*) And when I say "investing", I mean in the same way that someone feeding their paycheck into slot machines is "investing"

    • I am heavily invested in lottery tickets, but now I'm worried. I should have checked to see if they have an office somewhere.
  • Wow, finally a potentially good use for Facebook and their photo tagging technology. Someone needs to upload and tag this guy in a photo and some where, somehow he will get tagged, bagged and hung out to dry. Once he is located, and the info gets out his days will be numbered, and I'd bet the number will be less than 50 million.

  • Not sure about what investors thought about that message, but, as a non-investor, that's pretty funny.
  • You might want to actually click the link to their page first.

  • So the CEO made a video explaining that this was just a stunt to increase ICO scam awareness, and they are offering ICO advisory now (http://anditsg.one/)... seriously you couldn't make this s**t up!
  • "AND IT'S NOT GONE" (Score:4, Informative)

    by kkoo ( 4352157 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @05:45AM (#56462919)
    It's back, with the boss giving a big speech on how it was meant as a warning to investors to watch for scams, and since his isn't then you should invest in his scheme.
    • by quenda ( 644621 )

      If with all the publicity from this stunt, he raises another $100mil, and then posts "AND THIS TIME IT'S REALLY GONE. SUCKERS!", I will pee myself with schadenfreude.

  • Invest in my ICO where you can invest in a mutually funded community pool to secure ICO insurance in to cover all your other ICO investments that you are afraid will go away, too.

    Not a scam. Promise(*)

    (*) limited term offer, null where void, not applicable in your jurisdiction

  • by cristiroma ( 606375 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @06:35AM (#56463041)
    The site is back online and he did explain actually that was an experiment showing how easy was to manipulate.
  • by gotan ( 60103 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @07:09AM (#56463117) Homepage

    Their explanation is, that this was a PR-Stunt.

    Make of it what you will.

  • I am shocked, shocked that fake "currencies" would attract anything less than totally honest characters.

    (Your cryptocurrency winnings sir)

    Thank you.

  • by rbgnr111 ( 324379 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @08:32AM (#56463391)

    This looks to me more like a promotional stunt. Going to their site it looks like they are trying to use this to promote their token. The video there looked to me more like they were warning about the risks of many ICO's and the type of exit that many take.

    I'm not promoting them in any way, I do think that a lot of these ico's are very scammy, and like any investment you need to do your own work to verify that it actually is a good investment.

  • The PS2 game Ico was great. It even got remastered [playstation.com] for the PS3.

    Oh wait, you mean ICO = Initial Coin Offering.

    Hey, fucktard /. editors, how about doing your fucking JOB and describing an acronym the first time it is used. Oh wait, that would involve actual work.

    After 20+ years you STILL can't do this?

    You had ONE job ... *facepalm*

    Yes, I'm not new here -- and I'll keep kvitching about their incompetence.

  • Just checked the "currently displaying" link, South Park image is gone, new image saying it's NOT gone, "check this space", etc.

    Who knows? But you can bet your bottom dollar (if you have one left) that I won't be sending them any money :-)

  • by gx5000 ( 863863 ) on Thursday April 19, 2018 @12:36PM (#56465111)
    AND IT'S NOT GONE

    https://ico.savedroid.com/

    savedroid was here, is here, and will be here. Aaand savedroid is all in for establishing high quality ICO standards.

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